Plato versus Aristotle: Philosophical Debates

Plato and Aristotle were two of the greatest philosophers of all time. Ever the best of friends, they disagreed about the big questions in life, and the debates they launched continue today. Now it’s time for students to join in! Students in this course will discover how debating controversial issues expands the mind.

In this course, students will read selected passages from Plato and Aristotle on eight major issues:

  1. Where does knowledge come from?
  2. Is beauty a matter of fact or a matter of opinion?
  3. What is love?
  4. What is freedom?
  5. What is the best form of government?
  6. What is art for?
  7. What is God?
  8. How do human beings find happiness?

Students will tackle one issue each week. They will read the selected passages and write a paragraph about them. In class they will hold partner debates on the issue, using their paragraphs as the basis for their arguments.

Live Classes: Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Student Expectations: Each week students will read selections from Plato and Aristotle and write a paragraph about them. Before class they will take an open-book reading quiz. In class they will debate with partners.

Student Support: The instructor is available via email.

Materials/Supplies: The instructor will provide the readings for this course.

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